Archive for April 21st, 2010


Standing – Robert Mulligan, William Wyler, George Cukor, Robert Wise, Jean-Claude Carrière and Serge Silverman.   Sitting – Billy Wilder, George Stevens, Luis Buñuel, Alfred Hitchcock and Rouben Mamoulian. (Photo from 1972, posted at John Greco’s blogsite Watching Shadows on the Wall.)

Note:  This is the second entry in an ongoing series of bloggers who have really made a difference, raising the bar for quality and productivity on the cultural front.

by Sam Juliano

     Everyone has their own special niche.  Floridian John Greco, who lived most of his life in and around New York City has amassed an enviable collection of photographs of yesteryear, when movies premiered in red-carpeted palaces, and with it an incredible memory of the times he was an active participant during cultural upheaval.  At his two blogsites, the widely popular Twenty Four Frames and the newer Watching Shadows on the Wall, Greco has made film history a central focus, unearthing rare photographs (like the priceless one that heads this piece) across the entire cultural spectrum, and covering films that were released in the 60’s and 70’s, but never caught on with the public.  An avid movie goer since the late 60’s, Greco continues to this very day to maintain a torrid pace at theatres for the current fare, while negotiating the DVD front for a continuing examination of classic cinema.

     While Greco makes no secret that his favorite genre is “film noir” and has reviewed virtually every major entry at Twenty Four Frames, he is still as diversified as any blogger-critic out there, and his background in film is extraordinarily comprehensive.  A patron of the old Video Shack and RKO Video Store on 49th Street in Manhattan, where all the action was from the mid 7o’s well in the 80’s, Greco has admitted he dropped more money than he’d like to remember in those days when Betamax tapes had better quality than their VHS counterparts, while simultaneously collecting music CDs during the glory days of rock. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(Taiwan/Malaysia 2006 115m) DVD1/2

Aka. Hei yan quan

Have mattress will travel

p  Bruno Pésery, Vincent Wang  d/w  Tsai Ming-Liang  ph  Liao Pen-Jung, Tsai Ming-Liang  ed  Chen Sheng-Chang  art  Lee Tian Jue, Gan Siong-King

Lee Kang-Sheng (Kang-Shiao/man in coma), Chen Shiang-Chyi (Chyi, the waitress), Norman Atun (Rawang), Chua Pearlly (waitress’ boss), Liew Lee-Lin (tea maker), Leonard Tee (light seller), Chan Rong-Sin (estate agent),

I have a problem with Tsai Ming-Liang.  Not personally, I’m sure he’s a very personable and engaging fellow.  No, it’s with his cinema.  I know I’m not alone here, but nor will be anyone who rises on their haunches to denounce me as a philistine.  Don’t get me wrong, those people who decry that his films are boring are missing the point entirely.  Yet, though his films are never tedious, sometimes the point of them is somewhat murky and, if the plots are never the point as much as mood and character, placement and lighting composition, they can be impenetrable beasts.  He’s a modern brand of director, beloved by the intelligentsia for those very qualities and he’s not alone; one can easily add the likes of Claire Denis and Apichatpong Weerasethakul to that list.  Both of those directors are represented by a single film in the list, so it’s only fair Tsai gets his moment in the sun, and as with the other two, the choice may not be the first that would come to the minds of his followers.  No The River, no Goodbye Dragon Inn, no Vive l’Amour, no What Time is it There?, no The Wayward Cloud with its watermelon excess, all essential viewing for fans, but films that left me unmoved.  I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone does move you, while leaving you wondering about the enigma that lies at the heart of its plot.  (more…)

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